How do I know if I have too much cholesterol? Doctor's reply
Cholesterol, we hear a lot about: It is naturally present in the body, and when it is in excess in the blood, it can promote the emergence of certain cardiovascular diseases. How do you know that you have hypercholesterolemia? We evaluated Dr. Jean-Michel Lecerve, an endocrinologist.
We talk about hypercholesterolemia when the cholesterol level is higher than 2 grams per liter of blood. Excess cholesterol is not a disease in itself: however, it is a major risk factor for some cardiovascular diseases.
Angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, arteritis of the legs, even erectile dysfunction or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) ... When the blood flow is reduced due to the presence of cholesterol "plaques", the functioning of the organs is impaired. More or less serious health problems.
The first thing to know: hypercholesterolemia is asymptomatic, which means that there are no symptoms that allow you to say, "Oh, I probably have too much cholesterol." "Most of the time, patients discover they have too much cholesterol by chance, during a blood test, for example," confirms Dr. Jean-Michel Lecerve, an endocrinologist.
Excess cholesterol without symptoms
"Excess cholesterol can also be detected by vascular, arterial or cardiac complications: myocardial infarction, angina pectoris ... can lead to the detection of hypercholesterolemia in the patient" adds the specialist.
Difficult to detect, excess cholesterol can remain silent for several years. "Moreover, there are many forms of cholesterol, which further complicates the research," adds Dr. Lesserve.
How do you prevent increased cholesterol? To prevent excess cholesterol, there is only one solution for Dr. Jean-Michel Lesserve: "Get a blood test at least every five years - from the age of 50, men should have a test every three years.
However, if there are cases of hypercholesterolemia in your family or if you have a lifestyle that can promote excess cholesterol (smoking, unbalanced diet, sedentary lifestyle, etc.), do not wait any longer to collect blood. With a balanced diet, and possibly treatment, you will significantly reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. »